SENIOR Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday said the probe ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government into land transactions in Ayodhya was inadequate and that the Supreme Court should investigate the “loot”.
The Yogi Adityanath government ordered the probe on Wednesday, the same day as The Indian Express reported how elected public representatives and relatives of state government officials had bought land parcels in Ayodhya since the November 9, 2019, Supreme Court verdict clearing construction of a temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site.
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Addressing a press conference with Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala at the AICC headquarters, Vadra said: “Uttar Pradesh said yesterday that they are ordering a probe. Who is conducting the probe? A district-level officer… Now you have the Mayor as a witness on a sale deed… Obviously, you are not expecting an inquiry to take place… A district-level officer cannot hold an inquiry against a mayor. The Ram Mandir Trust was set up on the basis of the orders of the Supreme Court. So, this investigation should be conducted through the Supreme Court.” Accusing the Trust of buying land at inflated rates, and BJP, RSS leaders and government officials of “misusing” the money collected by it, Vadra said a “loot” was on near the Ram temple. “BJP leaders, office-bearers and officials of the Yogi Adityanath government are involved in this loot… Nobody knows how much land is there or how many crores worth of scam is taking place.”
Speaking to reporters in Lucknow, BSP chief Mayawati demanded that the Supreme Court intervene in the matter. She asked the Centre to direct the state to cancel the land deals.
Mentioning a specific case, Vadra, the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP, said: “There is a clear transaction here where a piece of land which was sold in 2017 to a certain person was then sold by that person in two parts. The first part, which was 10,000 sq m, was sold directly to the Ram Mandir trust for Rs 8 crore. The second part which was 12,000 sq m, 19 minutes later — we are talking about the same piece of land — (was sold) to a certain Ravi Mohan Tewari for Rs 2 crore. So you have a piece of land, half of it goes for Rs 8 crore and the other half — slightly more than the (first) half — goes for Rs 2 crore, at the same time… Five minutes later, this Mr Ravi Mohan Tewari sells that Rs 2 crore piece of land… for Rs 18.5 crore to the Trust.” with inputs